Remembrance Lanterns is a recent workshop that I initiated with a small group of people. The workshop was designed to open a sacred space in remembering a Loved One who had died and creating a lantern in their memory.
Six people in total attended and in their invitation they were asked to bring a photo of their Loved One, artifacts, a story of their Loved One’s life that they wanted to share and music that connected them to their person.
To begin, in a large open space I had drawn out A Remembering Well. Concentric circles mapped out with many, river and ocean stones. (I am a stone collector.) I asked folks to sit around the edge, wherein they brought in their photos and artifacts of their Loved One. Each person introduced him and herself and their Loved One who had died. For most of the folks in the circle these were first time introductions. Each of individual shone their uniqueness and what they all shared was an enthusiasm to talk about the One who is often left out of conversations.
I led them through a meditation on Love and Support and then we moved into the other room, prepared for making lanterns.
While the group made lanterns we listened, via YouTube, to an ongoing playlist of music, they had each selected to remind them of their Loved One. This element of music brought emotions to the table in a fluid way. Some of these emotions were joy, umor and awe. Some were down-right heart breaking – there was space and time for all of them.
After a few hours of glue guns, white glue and tissue paper, lanterns were complete, filled with color, stories and meaning. Lanterns were set aside to dry and we all re-grouped back into the circle for a short closing, or so I assumed, feeling that everyone was a bit tired. But once we dropped back into the circle, most folks wanted to stay in the Remembering Well as long as time would allow, share more and go deeper.
Two days later we met again in Green Timbers Urban Forest to light and walk with the lanterns around the lake. The Full Moon rose just before dusk. I gave a reading on the four elements, available to all of us to witness in the round. We then we walked beside the lake and through some trails. While walking through darkened trail, with the small glow of a lantern that has been given such soulful meaning was powerful to observe and an universal experience for all of us.
I was so touched by the energy of the group and the individuals themselves. The gratitude each of us had the others in group showed that we all came away feeling fuller and richer.